About the book
A Compelling Story of Friendship from the Top Author in Amish Fiction
Leona Speicher got the “sister” she’d always dreamed of the day Gloria Gingerich and her family moved to Lancaster County Amish farmland. The Arkansas newcomers seem to be everything a devout Plain family should be, and Leona can’t help comparing Gloria’s engaging young parents to her own.
Leona’s cousin shows a romantic interest in Gloria around the same time as Gloria’s older brother expresses his fondness for Leona–it seems likely the two young women will marry into each other’s families, remaining close friends for life. Thus, Leona is shocked when the Gingeriches suddenly pack up and disappear after being expelled from the church for reasons no one will discuss. Despite Leona’s pleas, Gloria goes with them, leaving more than one broken heart behind.
When Gloria unexpectedly contacts Leona after a silence of several years, Leona makes up her mind to persuade her friend to return to Lancaster County and the Amish ways. Leona’s new beau, the deacon’s son, is alarmed when Leona decides to go after Gloria. Will Leona’s dearest wish lead to her own undoing?
While there is romance in this book, please be advised that the romance is not the main focus, nor is the romance anything that a child should not read! There is no sex, and actually, I think there’s only like 2-3 scenes where there is any kissing at all. That is it. It’s an Amish book, so it’s very clean. I really enjoyed the story line behind it. I’m thinking this is the first book of Beverly Lewis’s that I have ever read, and I can honestly say that I’m hooked on her writing and her Amish Stories. The Amish life is something that interests me a LOT. Not necessarily because I want to go to that life, I don’t think I would ever be accepted, but it’s fascinating.
I enjoyed the friendship between Leona and Gloria. Being the only girl with my siblings, I know how Leona must feel to want a sister. However, I never remember being an only child. The brother of mine that is oldest to me is 2 years 9 months younger than I am, and I just don’t ever remember life with out him in it.
Things happen and it causes Leona and Gloria to lose contact with one another for approximately 3 years, and when they finally reconnected, it became Leona’s biggest wish to get Gloria back to The People and The Plain way of life, instead of the English way of life. Leona made a trip from Pennsylvania to Arkansas to see Gloria and when she got there, they were so happy to reconnect. They were able to talk about everything, and by the end of the weekend that Leona was there, Gloria had decided to drive Leona back out to Pennsylvania. She wanted to try to figure out if it was what she really wanted to go back to the Plain life.
There were several places in this book that I recognized, such as Salem, Arkansas. I have been there. I used to live 20 minutes from there, and it’s pretty cool to read about places you’ve been. All in all, I thought this book was wonderful. I would very highly recommend it to you!
About the Author
After I was married and our three children were in middle school, I began submitting articles and short fiction to various magazines.
My first book (Holly’s First Love) was published in May 1993, the start of a 14-book series for pre-teen girls. Soon after, my first chapter book was published for 7-10-year-old readers (“Big Bad Beans”) which later became part of my 24-book series, The Cul-de-Sac Kids. I wrote another long-running series for girls, titled “SummerHill Secrets,” which was set very close to Neffsville, PA, where I grew up–near the heart of Amish country.
But it was the story of my grandmother Ada Buchwalter’s shunning by her ultra-strict father and subsequently her old order Mennonite community that nudged me toward writing adult fiction. THE SHUNNING was published in 1997 by Bethany House Publishers, and along with its sequels, has touched a nerve in millions of readers intrigued by the Plain tradition of Lancaster County, PA. The Hallmark Movie Channel will air the movie, “Beverly Lewis’s The Confession” on January 19, 2013–the sequel to “The Shunning” movie.
My passion for Amish-related stories continues to keep me up at night, and I’m presently editing the 2nd book (The Bridesmaid) in my new series: “Home to Hickory Hollow,” due out September 11, 2012.
When I’m between writing deadlines, I enjoy hiking in the Rocky Mountains with my husband. Cooking from scratch, playing Mozart at the piano, and making family memory albums, as well as traveling to meet my devoted readers during book tours, are some of my very favorite things. I also adore reading biographies and memoirs, as well as classic literature.
Book One of my present series: The Fiddler, is available now.